Thousands of late-arriving mail-in ballots invalidated

Thousands of late-arriving mail-in ballots invalidated

California's election authorities have invalidated late-arriving mail-in ballots, prompting many experts to caution that even small numbers can make a big difference in tight races.

Thousands of mail-in ballots for the state's primary held on June 3 failed to reach destinations in time; and government officials have confirmed that such ballots were too late to be counted.

The Golden State has nearly 18 million registered voters, who cast their votes through mail. Though the numbers of late-arriving ballots are quite small, even small numbers can make a difference when there is a tight competition between candidates.

Government officials said the postmark could not be the deciding factor, and that election officials must have the ballots in-hand by the cutoff dates.

Commenting on the issue, nonprofit California Voter Foundation's Kim Alexander said, "The only thing worse than not voting is people trying to vote and having their ballots go uncounted."

Part of the issue stems from some voters' laziness that prevents them from sending their ballots via the mail at an earlier date, but it is matter of fact that many otherwise valid ballots fail to reach their destinations in time due to sluggish postal system.

Santa Cruz County received more than 600 mail-in ballots after the close of polls, while Los Angeles County received nearly 2,400 mail-in ballots after the deadline. In 2012, nearly 30,000 mail-in ballots were quashed for the same reason.

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